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  • Seal Press

The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

Jessica Valenti

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Prose: non-fiction, Society

Valenti already has an established base among feminists and women, and with this book tackles a much-broader topic of national interest which will also appeal to parents, teenagers, and those interested in social reform

The United States is obsessed with virginity , from the media to schools to government agencies. In The Purity Myth, Jessica Valenti argues that the country's intense focus on chastity is damaging to young women. Through in-depth cultural and social analysis, Valenti reveals that powerful messaging on both extremes , ranging from abstinence-only curriculum to "Girls Gone Wild" infomercials , place a young woman's worth entirely on her sexuality. Morals are therefore linked purely to sexual behaviour, rather than values like honesty, kindness, and altruism. Valenti sheds light on the value , and hypocrisy , around the notion that girls remain virgins until they're married by putting into context the historical question of purity, modern abstinence-only education, pornography, and public punishments for those who dare to have sex. The Purity Myth presents a revolutionary argument that girls and women are overly valued for their sexuality, as well as solutions for a future without a damaging emphasis on virginity.

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